Telstra takes Coonan to court over WiMax funds

Telstra takes Coonan to court over WiMax funds

Summary: Telstra has lodged a complaint against the Communications Minister Helen Coonan over the funding of the AU$1 billion WiMax network intended to bring broadband to bush users across Australia.


Telstra has lodged a complaint against the Communications Minister Helen Coonan over the funding of the AU$1 billion WiMax network intended to bring broadband to bush users across Australia..

The telco announced that the it has begun proceedings in the Federal Court against the minister after, it alleged, she refused to give the company access to papers revealing how the winning tender was selected.

Coonan revealed in June that it had selected OPEL, a joint venture between Optus and Elders, to build the bush WiMax network and that the funding for the project had been increased to AU$1 billion, up from the AU$600 million originally earmarked for the scheme.

A Telstra spokesperson told ZDNet Australia that a hearing is now scheduled for Tuesday of next week, where a judge will hear from lawyers representing the telco and the Minister.

"We tendered for a certain job and then we find out that it is not just AU$600 million available -- we were never informed the money would be increased ... We want some clarification. If the goalposts are moved, everyone should be informed," he said. The telco alleged only the winning bidder, OPEL, was made aware of the funding increase during the tender process.

"We want to assess if we have been unfairly treated and find out the full facts of how the tender was done," the spokesperson added. Coonan's office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Telstra also claimed that it has contacted the government for more detail on the planned extent of the OPEL network and where it might overlap with its own services. The government said it would only provide the information on the condition Telstra did not make it public, the telco alleged.

To date, OPEL has said that the bush network will use 1,361 WiMax base stations and cover 638,000 square kilometres. The joint venture has yet to announce the frequency that will be used by the network, prompting questions in parliament over possible interference from other wireless devices.

Topics: Broadband, Government, Government AU, Legal, Networking, Telcos, Telstra, NBN, Wi-Fi

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  • Sour Grapes

    Maybe Telstra needs to look closer at it's 11th hour proposal which was tacked together at the last minute after weeks of stating they would not even bother applying.

    Telstra can also comfortably sit behind closed doors with the Government regarding its FTTN proposal, but as soon as a competitor makes some headway it's the end of the world.

    Pot, kettle, meet Telstra.
  • Too funny

    Ohhh Ha ha ha ha ha ha Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh haaaa haaaaa Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa AHHHHHHHHHHHh haaaaa haaaaaa haaaaaaaa Oh Oh HaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA HAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    Ohh Ohhh too funny..... Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    The bastards are at each others throats... Ohhhhhhhhhhh Funny... Oh aaaahhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaa hhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaa

    Telstra Vs. John Howard and Co.... Haaaaaaa Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    The worst phone company in the world Vs. the sleaziest governmet in the world.....

    Let the bloodbath begin......

    Ohhhh Haaaaaaaaaaaaaa Haaaaaaaaaaaaaa Haaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    (falls off seat)

    Heeeee heeeeeee heeeeeeee OMG Hallarious...
  • Laugh may be on you.

    Shane, remember, "He who laughs last laughs longest".
  • Telstra on the run?

    It was curious last week that Donald McGauchie publicly contradicted Sol Trujillo's July 31 ultimatum and next day Trujillo comes out firing another spray at the Federal Government. Was it pique? Is the Telsrta board happy and united? Surely some of the Company's mad dog policy must be being questioned. Perhaps shareholders should take the Board itself to the Federal Court to find out who driving this counterproductive nonsense.

    In any case, if the Federal Government makes a policy decision that it's in everyones' interest to have competition, surely it has the mandate to do so without answering to Telstra.
  • Media Blackout?

    I hope the seeming lack of coverage of this topic in the mainstream media has nothing to do with media management not wanting to jeopardise advertising revenue.

    This mess is an issue affecting everyone. A mess that wouldn't exist if Telstra was government owned.

    This spoilt brat behaviour by Telstra also proves that wholesale rights should be heavily regulated to protect consumers. They are clearly not team players.